New video shows David Beckham gushing about Qatar – even though it’s illegal to be gay there

David Beckham has gushed over Qatar in a new glossy video to promote the despotic Middle Eastern country, calling it “perfection” – despite the fact that it remains illegal to be gay and women still need permission to to study or get married in the Gulf State – before the World Cup this winter.

In a video set against the backdrop of the capital Doha, the former England captain – a Unicef ​​ambassador who describes himself as a feminist – calls Qatar an “incredible place to spend a few days” as he celebrates his 10 million -pound deal revealed face of Islamic nation

Beckham, 47, sails on a boat, rides a motorbike and visits a spice market before taking selfies with locals, visiting a bazaar and sitting down to eat with a group of men dressed in traditional Arabic attire.

In a voiceover on the video, the father-of-four tells viewers he can’t wait to bring his children over to the country, adding: “Qatar really is an incredible place to spend a few days on a layover . The modern and traditional fuse create something very special.

“This is one of the best spice markets I’ve ever been to. This will go down in history as one of my favorite mornings. This is perfection, can’t wait to bring my kids back.”

Until now, Beckham has failed to acknowledge that the controversial £10m deal is the face of the World Cup and a Gulf state where gay people are persecuted and misogyny is rife. It’s still illegal to be gay there, and women face discrimination under a male guardianship system that forces them to seek permission to marry, study or travel. More than 6,500 migrant workers died there building infrastructure for the tournament, the Guardian reported, citing official figures.

The video has now sparked a public backlash, with Twitter users blasting his decision to promote “backward” Qatar and accusing the “unprincipled” Beckham of “doing it for the money”. Another person shared a series of images under the caption “A story of David Beckham’s life that lasted 7 short years and cost £10million” showing Beckham promoting LGBT rights on his Instagram page, a screenshot of one Wikipedia entry on gay and women’s rights in Qatar – then news of Beckham’s £10m deal with despotism.

The former footballer insists his involvement with Qatar is an opportunity to create change from within and “use football as a force for good”.

David Beckham can be seen riding a motorcycle through Doha in the promotional video

David Beckham can be seen riding a motorcycle through Doha in the promotional video

The former England captain sails on a boat against the backdrop of Qatar's capital, Doha

The former England captain sails on a boat against the backdrop of Qatar’s capital, Doha

Beckham shakes hands with a vendor at a bazaar in Doha, the capital of Qatar

Beckham shakes hands with a vendor at a bazaar in Doha, the capital of Qatar

Beckham is seated at a desert feast with men in traditional Arab dress

Beckham is seated at a desert feast with men in traditional Arab dress

The video has sparked a backlash, with Twitter users blasting his decision to promote

The video has sparked a backlash, with Twitter users blasting his decision to promote “backward” Qatar and accusing the “unprincipled” Beckham of “doing it for the money”. Another person shared a series of images under the caption “A story of David Beckham’s life that lasted 7 short years and cost £10million” showing Beckham promoting LGBT rights on his Instagram page, a screenshot of one Wikipedia entry on gay rights and women’s rights in Qatar, then news of Beckham’s £10m deal with Middle East despotism

Gay magazine Attitude accused Beckham of hypocrisy after praising Blackpool’s Jake Daniels for coming out earlier this year.

In a scathing Instagram post, Attitude – whose cover the ex-footballer famously appeared on in 2002 – wrote: “David Beckham continues to keep his money out of his mouth as much as possible when it comes to the LGBTQ community.”

Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Group, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome David to Qatar, where he has been immersed in the culture and experienced first-hand the warm hospitality of the people.

“I encourage the millions who pass through Qatar each year to follow in David’s footsteps and create their own exciting adventures and memories.

“We have something for everyone at an incredible price, whether it’s sun, sea, sand, rich heritage and culture, surprising nature or a modern and fun city break.”

The Mail on Sunday unveiled Beckham’s deal with Qatar last February, which sparked fury from critics. Amnesty said at the time: “We would urge him to update himself on the deeply concerning human rights situation in Qatar and be prepared to speak up.”

The Mail on Sunday unveiled Beckham's deal with Qatar last February, which sparked fury from critics

The Mail on Sunday unveiled Beckham's deal with Qatar last February, which sparked fury from critics

The Mail on Sunday unveiled Beckham’s deal with Qatar last February, which sparked fury from critics

Beckham can be seen in the video campaigning for Qatar despite his human rights record

Beckham can be seen in the video campaigning for Qatar despite his human rights record

Beckham controversially signed a £10m deal to promote Qatar ahead of the World Cup

Beckham controversially signed a £10m deal to promote Qatar ahead of the World Cup

Beckham clinks coffee cups with a woman wearing a headscarf in Qatar

Beckham clinks coffee cups with a woman wearing a headscarf in Qatar

Those close to Beckham say he was “disturbed and embarrassed” when convicted over the controversial deal. They told the mail: “It is not surprising that David Beckham would want to attend such a major football event, but we urge him to educate yourself on and be prepared to speak out about the deeply concerning human rights situation in Qatar.

“The human rights situation in Qatar is worrying, from the long-standing mistreatment of migrant workers to restrictions on free speech and the criminalization of same-sex relationships.

“David Beckham should use his unique global profile to bring the world’s attention to the human rights issues surrounding the Games and not just playing on the pitch.”

Running from November 21st to December 18th, the FIFA World Cup is the first in the Arab world.

Beckham was widely credited for helping to combat the stigma suffered by gay athletes by agreeing to appear on the cover of Attitude in 2002.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11161451/New-video-shows-David-Beckham-gushing-Qatar-despite-illegal-gay-there.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 New video shows David Beckham gushing about Qatar – even though it’s illegal to be gay there

Emma Colton

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